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Ohio Dismantles WV In Annual OVAC Game

By Staff | Jul 29, 2009

The 2009 edition of the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic is an experience that the participants will remember for a lifetime.

The West Virginia football players probably wish they could forget the game as soon as possible.

Ohio dominated almost all facets of the game as they rolled to a 47-7 thrashing of the Mountaineers. It’s the fifth straight victory for the Buckeyes, who have now won 14 of the last 15 games.

It didn’t take long for Ohio to get started as they scored on their second possession in six-plays. Union Local’s Jordan Barbina capped the drive with a 35-yard scoring strike to St. Clairsville’s Brody Call.

West Virginia immediately answered back on the feet of Wheeling Central’s DeVaughn Gordon. After a decent kick return to the 30-yard line, Gordon took the option handoff up the middle and to the right and ran 43 yards before being brought down in an attempt to reverse field.

On the very next play, Gordon again took the handoff and raced up the left side, just stepping over the goal line to score West Virginia’s lone touchdown and tying the game up at 7-7.

That’s about the last time the Mountaineers had anything to cheer for as the offense was shut down for the majority of the game thereafter.

At half-time, the 2008 OVAC Queen of Queens Emmalyn Rucker crowned the new queen of the OVAC. Local candidates were Kara Martie of Tyler Consolidated, Amy Toman of Paden City, Makenzie Walker of Magnolia, and Chelsea Lowe of River High School.

The second half wasn’t much better as Ohio ran over, figuratively and literally in some cases, the West Virginia defense. Ohio scored three more touchdowns, two of them on runs by Monroe Central’s Mike Habig. The last score of the game came late in the fourth quarter on a blocked punt in the end zone.

The local athletes who played in the game were limited in their actions.

Tyler Consolidated’s Nate Zills was second on the team in total yards with 56. He was the only player besides Gordon who rushed for positive yardage with one carry for 10 yards. He was more effective as a receiver with two catches for 46 yards.

One of Zills’ completions was a trick play saved for the end. After the snap, WV’s quarterback made a quick pass to Eric Mendenhall off to the right, who then threw back towards the middle of the field where Zills was wide open.

The Blue Eagles’ Brandon Sprouse caught the last pass of the night for nice yardage, while fellow MHS teammate Jason Utt continually beat his defender down the field. But for whatever reason, placement of the ball by the WV quarterbacks usually seemed just out of his reach. The future Bethany-bound product was held to two receptions for 36 yards. He also spent some time at cornerback.

“We worked hard this week, but it was a matter of coming together there during the game and we couldn’t get anything going,” said Utt. “The guys still played hard and played until the end. That’s what makes the game special. The guys come out here and become friends for life.”

He also mentioned the talent of the Buckeyes and their ability to adapt.

Fellow Magnolia alumnus Tyler Hanna and Valley’s Morgan Long played on the line, but never seemed to be able to get close to Barbina while on defense.

Long was actually listed as a receiver for the West Virginia squad earlier in the week as he played tight end for most of his career with the Lumberjacks.

“Throughout my whole high school career I started as a freshman at Valley at defensive end and tight end,” said Long.

“That’s all I ever played. I played tackle in a game for maybe five plays. Then to come up here and play against the best lineman in the Ohio Valley, it’s hard to adjust, but I’m happy with the way I did.

“It’s probably one of the best feelings I could ever have coming through Valley, and on top of that, being the only one selected,” he went on to say.

“It’s pretty nice. There’s not much you can say about it. It’s just an experience that I’m never going to forget. I’ve never got to play up here until this point. I’m never going to forget it. Even though the outcome isn’t what we wanted, I still had a lot of fun this week and tonight. Whoever gets to play in it next year, they’re going to enjoy themselves no matter what the outcome of the game is. It’s a lot of fun and they’re really going to enjoy it.”

The Ohio team was led by River High products DJ Duke, Jordan Clegg, and Tyler Brooks.

All three played a big part of the Buckeye’s success over the West Virginia squad.